Best-Ever Chicken Fajitas

When the day comes that I want to have a child, I think I will struggle to know whether I have pregnancy cravings, or “Grace cravings”. I go through phases where I crave a particular food and currently, that’s where I stand with fajitas. I have always loved sautéed bell peppers and onion (I mean who doesn’t?) but I’ve been on a kick lately, ordering chicken fajitas wherever and whenever I can do so.

So, it was about time for me to make my own version using a marinade I truly love. And there is the added bonus that this recipe can serve as dinner 3 nights in a row, which is a God-send when you get home from work and are too exhausted to be summoned to cook anything. Fajitas are one of those glorious dishes that actually taste just as good, if not better, the next day meaning that eating leftovers isn’t such a bad thing. You can even add fajitas to a breakfast scramble if you are feeling ambitious in the morning. Point being, these fajitas are the easiest one-skillet-wonder.

If I am going to use my cast-iron skillet, I like to know that whatever I am making is foolproof recipe, otherwise I end up cleaning the skillet for 20 minutes wishing I hadn’t decided to get adventurous cast iron. This dish is certifiably delicious and a no-fail, hence why I am eagerly punching keys as I type up this recipe. There are many dishes I attempt that never make it to the blog, but this recipe truly wonderful. Serve over a bed of lettuce or in a warm tortilla – there is no wrong way to eat these fajitas. Zach even told me that it was “way better” than a Food Network recipe I had used a couple weeks back…and I didn’t even tell him that this recipe was my own creation. So, no bias here! Just good food to enjoy with your favorite people.

What’s in this Recipe:

  1. Chicken: Make sure to use a meat mallet or butterfly the chicken so that each breast is of the same thickness and will cook evenly. I prefer to cut the chicken into strips after it is cooked so that is does not dry out while cooking, though if you prefer, you can cut it into strips before adding it to the marinade.
  2. Jalapeño: Besides the givens (bell pepper, onion, and chicken) jalapeño is an essential flavor powerhouse in this recipe. just the right amount of kick, jalapeño is a key ingredient in the fajita marinade that is non-negotiable in my book! If you like a mild spice like I do, you can seed the jalapeño, though for those with a penchant for heat, feel free to add the whole jalapeño – seeds and all – to the food processor.
  3. Cilantro: Cilantro can be a divisive ingredient that some taste buds love and others loathe, but I rely on cilantro in my everyday cooking to brighten simple meals with a fresh herb like cilantro. In conjunction with fresh lime juice and garlic, cilantro lends itself to the most flavor-packed fajitas!
  4. Lime Juice: I find that I have been buying more and more limes as of late, partially because this recipe calls for lime juice in the marinade, but also – and perhaps more truthfully – because a margarita complements this dish very well. In the fajitas themselves, the lime juice not only adds a tart citrus punch, but also helps tenderize the chicken while it marinades.
Best-Ever Chicken Fajitas

Best-Ever Chicken Fajitas

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 bell peppers (tri-colored)
  • 1 white onion

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup fresh, packed cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeño (seeds removed)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Optional

  • flour and corn tortillas for serving
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • cotija cheese

Instructions

  1. First, make the marinade for the chicken by combining the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, chili powder, honey, and salt together in a food processor or blender. Blend until you achieve a smooth consistency.
  2. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken into 1/2 inch thickness or alternatively, butterfly the chicken breasts.
  3. Add the marinade to the chicken in a bowl or plastic bag and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Next, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil that has a high smokepoint (such as canola) in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. As your skillet heats up, thinly slice the bell peppers and onion.
  6. Add the vegetables to the pan and sauté until both the peppers and onions start to develop a nice char and the onions are caramelized. Remove the vegetables from the pan and onto a plate.
  7. Next, add the chicken to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes until fully cooked through, then remove from the pan and slice into thin strips. Combine the chicken and veggies together to serve.
  8. Now your fajitas are ready to eat! Enjoy with all the fixings (sour cream, guacamole, queso fresco, lime wedges etc.) or just as they are!

Notes

Store leftover fajitas in an airtight container to be enjoyed for 3-5 days after cooking.

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